The River of Life

Today’s reading is Revelation 22.

John’s story telling expands even more. We’ve had the repeated cycles in the book. Further, we’ve seen how as he ended his story, he went back to pick up themes he used at the beginning of the book. Now, here at the end of our entire Bibles (can that be a coincidence), John goes all the way back to the beginning of the whole story. What we are witnessing is the restoration of the Garden, but it is a new and improved Garden. It is not just a tree of life, but a river of life surrounded by life-giving trees. There is no night because God is it’s light. And the inhabitants reign forever and ever without fall or failure. WOW! No doubt the ultimate fulfillment of this picture is in eternity where Christ’s church finds its ultimate victory. However, don’t miss the point John is making for his readers in their particular predicament. He is pointing out that this imagery is not merely the church in eternity. This imagery is Christ’s church at all times. Christ’s church, Christ’s bride is this garden city. As the Garden was God’s first sanctuary, His first dwelling place with man, the church is God’s final resting place with man. Whether on earth or ultimately around His throne in heaven, Christ’s church is His temple, His dwelling place, His city, His kingdom, His Bride. And here is the kicker. If you want to be part of the Bride, the city, the kingdom in eternity, you have to be part of it now. The Spirit and the Bride say come. Come now. Come drink from the fountain of living waters that flows from God’s throne, by Christ’s cross, through the Heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, the church. And never leave this refreshing stream. I understand, in its present form, we don’t always see it as this image at the end of Revelation. But this is what it is and, in time, it will be vindicated and demonstrated as such. So, get in now and stay there.

Next week’s reading is Luke 1.

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A Spring of Water Welling Up to Eternal Life

Today’s reading is John 4.

Though the story of the Samaritan woman at the well works out in the end, in the middle it goes a little awry. Why? Because as is often the case the hearer didn’t understand the truly profound nature of the message she was hearing. Jesus said, “If you knew who I was, you’d ask Me for a drink and I’d give you living water. I would give you water that would become in you a spring welling up to eternal life.” And the woman just didn’t get it. She responded, “Give me this water that I might never have to walk all the way out to this well again.” No doubt, always having our physical thirst quenched would be a cool thing. But Jesus is offering something way better. He is offering a spiritual life, an eternal life. It is a life that isn’t about food and drink. And yet, so many today make the woman’s same mistake. They think what God is promising is a prosperous life or a world blessed where no one is hungry or thirsty. That just isn’t the case. He is actually offering something much, much better if we will just be wise enough to see it. He is offering His Holy Spirit leading us to eternal salvation. And that is what we are offering. We aren’t offering a drink of water. We are offering living water that produces eternal life. How can we not pass along that message?

Tomorrow’s reading is John 5.

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